Youth leader who transformed lives of young people dies
Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Ashford charity worker.
Tom Pelham, team leader for youth charity Uprising, died last month after battling cancer.
Mr Pelham set up the charity three years ago to manage and deliver youth projects, and worked with the council over many years to set up and deliver different schemes across the town.
He also chaired the What Matters Forum, where youth professionals come together to support each other.
He was well-known for his vision, innovation and passion to support young people and improve their lives.
Trustees for Uprising Youth and Community, made up of Louise Mitchell, Dayo Ifekoya and Rebecca Morse, said: “Tom Pelham was that rare individual.
“A man with a heart for community, who enthusiastically inspired others to join him in meeting a growing need to transform the lives of young people in our town.
“Having been instrumental in starting the successful Street Pastors initiative, he began a detached youth service, Hang 10, in Summer 2011, with two youth workers, Andy Richardson and Holly Paterson.
“This new initiative, in partnership with Ashford Borough Council, and Pipeline, used a converted truck, and some sports equipment, to begin to engage with the young people in the town and to build positive relationships with them.
“Hang 10 then developed into other projects including HOUSE, Community Action Team, Aspire and the Stanhope Community Hub, and these projects have continued with that same idea of community engagement and relationship building.
“Driven by a deep Christian conviction, and closely linked to Grow Church in Stanhope, the work has blossomed into a charity working for the benefit of young people and their families.
“Uprising Youth and Community have continued working with local partners for the past few years to provide fun, learning and support to a great number of young people in the town who otherwise would have had little help.
“The charity will remain a strong presence in the town, determined to continue the work Tom started, so that young people and their families experience transformed lives.”
‘Tom Pelham was that rare individual. A man with a heart for community, who enthusiastically inspired others to join him’
Tom Pelham has died after a battle with cancer